Workplace bullying and harassment are making news across the country, and legislators and courts are trying to understand and address the twin issues. A recent HRinfodesk survey indicates that our readers are grappling with bullying and harassment as well. A couple of months ago, we asked:
When an organization gives one of their human resources a task, how often is a risk assessment done? The answer is: it depends. When firefighters are asked to enter a burning building, the person in charge first assesses the risk to his people. When the engineers at the Japanese nuclear plant had to re-enter the facility to prevent a meltdown, a risk assessment was also completed before that. However, when most organizations fly their sales guy to South Africa, or get the young clerk at the gas station to close up the shop at night, rarely do they consider all the risks.
Nearly one year ago, the Ontario government enacted Bill 168, which added workplace violence and harassment provisions to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Many employers were ready, but many are still scrambling to comply, which, among other things, includes developing written policies to address both violence and harassment at work and to review those policies at least once a year.